chapter  3
41 Pages

Walled cities: surveillance, regulation and segregation

Reading 3A Jane Jacobs: ‘The uses of sidewalks: safety’ 124

Reading 3B Mike Davis: ‘Urban control: the ecology of fear’ 127

Reading 3C Andy Beckett: ‘Take a walk on the safe side’ 133

1 Introduction

Even the most poetic representations of ‘the open city’ acknowledge that the diversity and intensity of the central inner city are capable of also producing disorientating, disconcerting and painful lived realities. As we have seen in the last chapter, there are fearful ‘shadow’ representations of the city, in different locations and times, as a breeding ground for crime, decay and disorder. Contemporary celluloid representations of the city as a storm-darkened, post-industrial carceral, or as an ‘urban jungle’ in the grip of dangerous

strangers, often seem anything but products of the paranoid imagination of science fiction authors. Such totalizing dystopian visions of the city as a place of fear and insecurity need, however, to be continually read against the attractions of the city as a place of pleasure, entertainment and intensified stimulation.